I’ve been thinking about running a few self-promotional posts here and there. Hope you’ll indulge me if I do a bit of marketing for my books, in general, including any sales or other special deals that might be available, too.
Today’s post features the first book I ever wrote, published in 2013. For those who don’t know, the wake-robin is a wine-red trillium which blooms in the North Carolina mountains every spring. It’s always been a favorite of mine, and I knew it would be the name of my fictitious mountain ridge before I even started writing the book. In addition to the Blurb, I’m sharing an excerpt from the beginning of a very pivotal scene in the story. Hope you enjoy it!
Wake-Robin Ridge, Where Ghosts Walk, Ancient Legends Abound,
and Things Still go Bump in the Night.
“A PHONE RINGING AT 2:00 A.M. never means anything good. Calls at 2:00 A.M. are bad news. Someone has died. Someone is hurt. Or someone needs help.”
On a bitter cold January night in 1965, death came calling at an isolated little cabin on Wake-Robin Ridge. Now, nearly 50 years later, librarian Sarah Gray has quit her job and moved into the same cabin, hoping the peace and quiet of her woodland retreat will allow her to concentrate on writing her first novel. Instead she finds herself distracted by her only neighbor, the enigmatic and reclusive MacKenzie Cole, who lives on top of the mountain with his Irish wolfhound as his sole companion.
As their tentative friendship grows, Sarah learns the truth about the heartbreaking secret causing Mac to hide from the world. But before the two can sort out their feelings for each other, they find themselves plunged into a night of terror neither could have anticipated. Now they must unravel the horrifying events of a murder committed decades earlier. In doing so, they discover that the only thing stronger than a hatred that will not die is a heart willing to sacrifice everything for another.
I saw the headlights flare across the back wall before I heard the sound of Mac’s truck, and I rose, moving to face the door. My hands were shaking and my stomach was in a knot. He was coming, and I didn’t know if that was a good thing, or a very bad one. I heard the truck door slam, and in seconds he was knocking rapidly on my door.
“Sarah? Sarah, please. Open the door. Please, Sarah?”
I stood with my hand on the knob, debating—a mere two inches of wood between us. Jenna’s joke about him being a serial killer flashed through my mind. Was he dangerous? Drunk? Mentally unstable?
I heard him make a strangled sound on the other side. “Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry. Please let me in.”
He sounded on the verge of tears. That did it. Whatever the problem was, I couldn’t say no to anyone that unhappy, and certainly not to Mac.
I turned the knob and began to open the door, only to have Mac push his way inside, and pull me roughly against him. He buried his face in my hair, his breath hot against my head. “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I’m so sorry.” He was trembling all over.
I leaned back to look at him, and the misery in his face was shocking. “Oh, Mac,” I whispered. “What is it? What’s wrong?”
Instead of answering, he leaned down, and kissed me. Hard. I stood frozen for a moment, then he abruptly let me go, stumbling back with a gasp. He looked almost as shocked as I felt.
“Oh, damn,” he choked out, closing his eyes. I took his hand, which was ice-cold, and pulled him into the warmth of the living room, closing the door behind us.
“Sit down, Mac.” I led him to the couch, and wrapped my afghan around his shoulders. He huddled there, hunched over with his elbows on his knees, and his face buried in his hands. His breathing was ragged, and he seemed to be struggling to gather control of his emotions. When the worst of his shivering eased, he dropped his hands.
Even by the dim light of the fire, I could see he looked awful. His eyes were bloodshot, and had dark circles underneath them. He hadn’t shaved in a day or two, and his hair was tousled every which way.
I felt he wanted to tell me something, but he seemed unable to find the words to begin. When he didn’t look at me again, I knelt down in front of him on the floor. I put my palm on his cheek and turned his face toward me. “Mac? It’s time. You need to tell me.”
“I know,” he said, voice barely audible. “I want to, but it’s so hard, Sarah.” He took a deep, shaky breath. “I don’t know how to talk about it. I never have before, not to anyone.” His voice broke, and his eyes shone with unshed tears.
I moved up to sit beside him, and took his hand in mine. “Try. Just try, Mac. I can’t be here for you if I don’t know what’s wrong.”
He looked at me, searching for something in my eyes. Reassurance, perhaps. Then he turned back to stare into the fire, drawing courage from the warmth of the flames. I waited.
Mac’s eyes were focused on something far away, and he held my hand in a death grip. Finally, he took another shuddering breath and began to talk, his voice barely above a whisper. “I went to Charlotte to see my son.”
“You have a son?” I asked, after he had been quiet for a long moment.
He started to say something, then stopped. He cleared his throat and tried again, twice, before managing to go on. “Had. I had a son. He died.”
It was obvious just saying the words tore him apart. His pain was like a living presence in the room, and I would have done just about anything to ease it for him; but I thought that this was probably a story he needed to tell in his own way, so I waited. He spoke in such a halting manner, it was easy to believe he had never said any of this out loud.
“Monday was his birthday … he would have been eighteen.” He gave a ragged sigh. “Grown up. I still see him small, laughing … playing in the sandbox with his trucks.” He stopped again.
“I always go on his birthday, but I wasn’t going to this year. I thought I could stay here … be with you … just not think about it, for this one year. I’m good at not thinking about it most of the time. I just pretend everything is all right.” Another long pause. “My life is all about pretending.”
Author Marcia Meara
Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big cats.
When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.
Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish a book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?
Buy Marcia’s Books Here
Wake-Robin Ridge: Book 1
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3
The Light: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 4
Swamp Ghosts: Riverbend Book 1
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3
Riverbend Spinoff Novellas
The Emissary 1
The Emissary 2 – To Love Somebody
The Emissary 3 – Love Hurts
Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love
Reach Marcia on Social Media Here:
Blog: The Write Stuff